Wednesday, September 19, 2012

those scary middle-aged men

At a meeting about an upcoming school trip, the teachers who lead the trip told about a previous trip when one of the dads surprised his son by joining him at a restaurant. The trip is chaperoned by teachers, so no parents traveled with the group. One night at a restaurant, the dad, in town for business, came to say hello to his son. The teachers didn't recognize the man approaching the table.

"Boy," she said, "We were right on him. I mean, here comes this middle-aged man..."

This middle-aged man was approaching a group of 50 middle schoolers and several teachers. I wonder what the teachers thought the man could possibly do in that situation? How many kids could he have molested if they hadn't noticed him in time? Could he have abducted a handful of them before the teachers realized what was going on? Or could he have quickly groomed a few of them as part of his devious plan do what?

The idea that the man was dangerous just because he was a man...that is ridiculous and insulting. People accept without question the idea that the world is a dangerous place with perverts and kidnappers around every corner.

I wondered what the dad's reaction was at the time. Was he insulted at the suggestion that he could be a danger to this group of kids? Or did he simply nod his head and agree that he could see how they could think that about him?


Liza said...

Sadly, that is the world we live in. The teachers would have been raked over the coals if that man had not been a dad of the student AND said something creepy to the kids.

I think it's an overreaction. However, I don't know how to deal with that. The middle age man's feelings comes last after the kids in that scenario.

I think you are very lucky that you or your kids have never been sexually abused. You have no idea the effect it has on a person. They carry the shame and horror until they die. Every relationship they have is affected. What happens to the family of the perpetrator is not the victim's concern. It's horrible for the family but the victim is what matters. Even if the victim is only in pictures. I assure you that the child in the pictures is the victim in child porn - not the person that looks at it.

I've read every word you have written. There seems to be no concern for the victims but only for your family. I think if you thought about sexual abused victims, you'd have a easier time with what has happened to your family. You'd understand why all hell as broke loose in your family.

Marie said...

Liza, if the middle-aged dad had said something odd, unexpected, or obscene to the kids, I am confident that their teachers and parents would have been able to help them through a weird moment. I do not think that protecting children--middle-school kids, at that--from people saying "something creepy" is a top priority.

It is important for adults to teach kids through example that we don't judge people on appearances.

As for my concern for the children in child porn, I will save that for another post. Your challenge deserves a thoughtful response.